Whatever happened to discussing switching over to another software? No amount of minor tweaks is going to stop imping and the lack of basic features like private messaging that have made sites like Skype more appealing to a lot of our former regulars. I want us to stand out from all the bland IRC-esque gaming channels out there, so we could easily recruit people from places like Showdown and Reddit and wherever else. Money isn't an issue, and time really shouldn't be an issue since they aren't that hard to install, so I'm thinking this is either an attempt to appeal to tradition or just a personal preference you have with the old software. If you are determined to keep this software, you'll need to make a lot of improvements before we can ever hope to stop being just a decaying relic of the relatively burgeoning community we had some 3-4 years ago.
Some things I'm confident every single chat member would want include:
1. Fixing the HMTL linking code so it properly detects most websites. If a website uses "https" instead of "http", for example, the chat does not turn it into a link. Some websites with the "www" clipped off also don't get detected either. Just take a more modern link detection script- like even the one used right here on the forums- and paste it into the chat if possible.
2. Flood protection. Don't let people post more than once every three seconds or something. And just posting the same message over and over should result in a temp ban (if possible).
3. Imping protection. Let people register usernames (or reserve usernames currently being used on the forum) to prevent other people from mimicking their username. Also, only allow numbers and letters in the username box to prevent people from using the size code or HTML character entity references to break coded restrictions on what usernames are allowed
4. Stop making IPs public, this is a breach of common sense privacy standards and particularly unfortunate considering this place is heavily populated by teenagers
5. Private messaging/ignore commands if possible
6. A lot more usable emoticons and a public list where said emoticon codes can be found
7. Change the name of the other two chat rooms- Sim Battle and Smash Bros- to something people actually care about, perhaps General Discussion and Roleplay if nothing else
8. Add more mods than just D-21, that's a nice start but some general around the clock coverage would be nice
9. Bring back a user blog dedicated to the chats, like how we had Moo moo farm in the old days
10. Block the use of dark text colors which are unreadable without having to highlight over the text. I know this sounds a bit tricky and it likely isn't going to be perfect, but there are two solutions I see as feasible- either include a certain range of allowed colors from a palette like this
or use this code involving Luma coefficients
to determine if a color is "too black" or not.